The more things change - the more they stay the same

Although this is certainly not my first venture into Blogland, it is my first post to Hello!!

My name is Maria and I am the Recruiting Services Manager for a boutique HR Consulting firm called Solutions Partners.

When I sat down, deciding how to introduce myself - it got me to thinking...Hmmm, where do I begin? When did I begin working in this business we call Recruiting, aka, Staffing, aka Talent Acquisition?? Well - it was a long time ago. Yessirree. I've been in Recruiting since...well, since *Before*. Before Internet. Before Email. Before Cell Phones. Before PDA's. Before Web 1.0, let alone 2.0 or beyond.

It all started when a friend of a friend who owned a Retained Search firm told me he thought I'd be good at Recruiting because I was a "people person" that was "outgoing" I think that was a tactful way of saying I was a Talkative Ham. It sounded interesting, and so off I started on the long, often harrowing, always fun and interesting road of Recruiting.

Those were the days my friends. They called us Head Hunters. We used phone books to research. I remember when Dice was an interesting new company and we received something called "Hot List of Consultants". There we stood in amazement looking at all those lovely pages of old-school computer paper, emerging from our molasses slow dot matrix printer - pages filled with names, phone numbers, skill was Christmas! We had never seen so much glorious, pertinent information all in one place. Although it took hours to print out the entire list, it was well worth the wait.

And then email became a new tool. Although I have memories of a disagreement my supervisor and I had about using this "new-fangled" thing. I was convinced it would free me up to communicate more effectively and efficiently with more candidates. I was cutting edge! She thought of it as a fad and lectured me saying the only tool a good Recruiter needs is their phone.

And speaking of phones - Back in the day, we called people on them. That's all we did. We didn't take their picture, or write to them, play games, manage our calendars, calculate our tips, or watch movies. And when we did call people, we'd leave messages on answering machines, Those messages were recorded on something called "tapes". Cell phones were only used by esoteric Field Engineers, who lugged them around in suitcases. People made fun of the geeks with the 25 pound monster phones, but I remember being secretly impressed with such mysterious technology.

Then it all seemed to snowball - jobboards, cell phones, relational databases, email, PDA's, shared calendars, blogs, chat rooms, social networks, smart phones, social networks, we are all linked together - Linked In if we so choose - and who isn't these days?

There are so many tools at our disposal. I don't know how I was able to do my job before them. But yet I did somehow. I hired people. I filled Reqs. I started, and nurtured relationships with clients.

"Back in the day" a good recruiter was someone that listened well. They paid attention to what the client needed. They read between the lines on a job description. They listened for clues as to what the candidate really knew - and really didn't know. They gleaned nuggets of information and understood the pertinent bits. They saw people as more than buzz words on their resumes. They researched, were detail oriented and visionary. They established real relationships, and communicated effectively. They negotiated, mentored, acted as part coach, part therapist, friend, trusted adviser, and business partner.

Tools only get you so far. The heart and soul of recruiting is still the same. People skills. Paying attention. Listening. Understanding. Communicating. Those things will never go out of style. Some things never change.

Views: 105

Comment by Mike Rasmussen on August 8, 2008 at 11:46pm
Wonderful posting. It's amazing how much things have changed over time. How important it is to listen to our candidates and clients. So true. It has been a pleasure to work with you!
Comment by Sally Raade on August 10, 2008 at 12:18am
Great posting! I'm from the old days like since 1995.. My first experience--we had
index cards in which after you made your notes on. It would be about your conversation with the company and the results. Then the index card goes back in the index box. The only problem is that if someone else misfiles the index card, then you would assume that the company has not been contacted. See the problem? Perhaps your co-worker had called the company yesterday..and now you're calling them to introduce yourself and your company.

After a couple of years of this database system, my boss got us which
the companies are now on our computer through our company's network. So if I pulled up a company on my computer, it would show me that someone had already made contact and the results. So it saves me time to move on to the next company.

One of the old tools that I still like is the phone! You can tell alot about people by what they don't say and sometime from what they do say!

I like what you had to say! Have a successful week!
Comment by Dave Mendoza on August 10, 2008 at 9:30am
Comment by Maureen Sharib on August 11, 2008 at 7:48am
"Tools only get you so far. The heart and soul of recruiting is still the same. People skills. Paying attention. Listening. Understanding. Communicating. Those things will never go out of style. Some things never change. "

Well stated.
Comment by Susan Kang Nam on August 11, 2008 at 10:48am
great posting ~ look forward to more.. for sure. :) Thanks Maria.


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